Patent, Trademark, And Intellectual Property Representation For Businesses And Corporations

4 types of intellectual property that can impact a business

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Intellectual Property

A company’s intellectual property (IP) helps to define the operations of the business, its methods and its ability to stand alone in the marketplace. There are various types of IP, including copyrights, trade secrets, patents and trademarks.

Each type of IP must be protected by the company so that rivals can’t use business assets for their own benefit.


Copyrights protect original works, including artistic works, literary works and musical creations. For businesses, this can cover marketing materials, software and publications. Copyright protection occurs immediately when the work is created but registering with the U.S. Copyright Office enhances enforceability.

Trade secrets

Trade secrets include confidential business information that provides a competitive edge over rival companies. These secrets can include formulas, processes or customer lists. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) rather than formal registration are used to protect trade secrets. Maintaining the secrecy of such information is crucial because protection is lost once the secret is publicly disclosed.


Patents help to protect tangible creations and inventions. They give the inventor who registers them exclusive use of the invention. This includes the right to sell and license the innovation for a specified period. There are three main types of patents: utility patents for new and useful inventions, design patents for new, original and ornamental designs and plant patents for new plant varieties. Filing a patent application with the USPTO requires detailed documentation. Once granted, patents prevent others from using the invention in any manner without permission from the person who holds the patent.


Trademarks protect slogans, names and symbols used to identify goods or services. They help consumers distinguish a business’ products from those of competitors. To secure trademark protection, businesses should register their marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Protecting intellectual property requires a strategic approach. Because many businesses have more than one type of IP, having a legal representative to assist with ensuring protection of IP and upholding the rights of a company when its IP is violated is generally very wise.